If you are standing on Mars and looking at our planet, Earth, what is it like to see Earth and Moon from Mars? Yes, we know the scene would be pretty impressive. So, if you want to learn more about the scene, let’s keep over this blog and uncover what we have for you!

ESA’s Mars Express Rover Captures a Snapshot: Scene of Earth and Moon from Mars

Mars Express saw Earth and the Moon.
Mars Express saw Earth and the Moon.

Like a cosmic photographer, the European Space Agency’s Mars Express rover clicked an unassuming yet profound snapshot of our Earth from its Martian standpoint. This photo might not be the most flashy space picture you’ve seen, but it still carries a special feeling. This image stirs echoes of the iconic “Pale Blue Dot” – a distant portrayal of Earth, taken in the depths of space by NASA’s Voyager 1 back in 1990.

Carl Sagan, a scientist, was the first to call Earth a “pale blue dot” after this image of Earth and the moon from Mars, The Voyager 1 photo sparked a realization: Earth is the sole habitat we are certain sustains life. A gentle nudge prompts us to treat each other kindly and protect our shared home.

Now, we will see the significance of the “Pale Blue Dot.” Aside from this, we will also look at the urgent need for Earth’s protection and the challenges of climate change and environmental crises.

A Timely Reminder of Earth’s Fragility and Our Collective Responsibility

Over three decades have passed since the “Pale Blue Dot” photo, but its profound message carries even more weight in the current era. With our planet wrestling with climate change and various environmental issues, the responsibility of its stewardship remains an imperative reminder. This was a very crucial point when pictures were being taken of Earth and the moon from Mars.

The team running Mars Express shared these new photos of Earth to remind us of this. However, they pointed out that Earth appears to be about the same size as an ant seen from 100 meters away in these images. But that tiny dot is where all of us live. There needs to be ‘Planet B’ in our survival plan. Caring for Earth is a must, as we can’t simply relocate if things take a turn for the worse.

And if you want to see the new photos taken by the Mars Express and the view of Earth and Moon from Mars at different times, then keep reading this blog. We will also include a unique image taken on June 2, coinciding with the spacecraft’s 20th anniversary since launch.

20th Anniversary Celebration with Stunning Photos of Earth and Moon from Mars

The camera aboard Mars Express took these new photos. They show Earth and the Moon at different times in May and June 2023. The final image was born on June 2, the same day Mars Express was launched 20 years ago.

Stunning Photos of Earth and Moon from Mars
Farewell Earth – 20 years ago

The Mars Express team didn’t take these photos for scientific purposes. They thought having a fresh picture of our home planet for the rover’s 20th birthday would be neat. The first-ever photo Mars Express took was of Earth and the Moon together. This was on July 3, 2003, while it was still traveling to Mars. The new photos from 2023 were taken from a much greater distance.

We will also have a keen and brief overview of the prediction of scientists in 20 years in the next paragraph. And the study by the European Space Agency.

Future Earth-Mars View: A Keen Prediction of Scientists in 20 Years

A scientist from the Mars Express project mentioned that in about another 20 years, humans might have the opportunity to view Earth and the moon from Mars with their own eyes. Moreover, the European Space Agency has been studying Mars from space and the planet’s surface for quite a while. Their next primary goal is to send humans to explore Mars.

Now, if you are interested to know more about the details of the view, then this part is just for you!

Let’s See the Keen Details of Earth and Moon from Mars

The image is a result of combining two distinct exposures captured on November 20, 2016, using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. These exposures were explicitly taken to calibrate the HiRISE data by utilizing the well-known reflectance of the moon’s side facing Earth.

The exposures were processed separately to enhance the visibility of details on both Earth and the moon. It is worth noting that the moon, being considerably darker than Earth, would hardly be discernible if displayed at the same brightness level as Earth.

Let’s dig deep into the sizes, and positions of the the view.

What are the Relative Positions & Sizes of Two Celestial Bodies?

The combined image accurately represents the relative positions and sizes of the two celestial bodies. The distance between Earth and the moon in this image is approximately 30 times the diameter of Earth. Although Earth and the moon may appear closer than their actual separation, this effect is due to the planned observation timing when the moon was nearly directly positioned behind Earth from the perspective of Mars, allowing for a clear view of the moon’s Earth-facing side.

In this image, the reddish feature near the center of Earth’s face corresponds to Australia. When the component images were captured, Mars was approximately 127 million miles (205 million kilometers) from Earth.

Since 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, equipped with HiRISE and five other instruments, has been engaged in exploring and investigating Mars.

In the conclusive part, we will answer the frequently asked question.

Can We See Earth and Moon from Mars?

When viewed from Mars, the Earth shares similarities with Venus as an inner planet, resembling a “morning star” or “evening star.” To the naked eye, the Earth and Moon appear as star-like points of light. However, when observed through telescopes, they would display crescent shapes, revealing some discernible details.


In a truly remarkable collaboration between LEGO and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), an awe-inspiring STEM-inspired building set has been crafted, igniting the curiosity and passion for engineering and space exploration among children. This captivating creation, the Ingenuity helicopter aims to captivate young minds and spark their interest in the universe’s wonders. Based on the real Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter currently exploring Mars’ Jezero Crater, this innovative kit has been making its way into homes worldwide, bringing the wonders of space exploration closer to young enthusiasts.

Ingenuity Helicopter Inspiring Space Explorers

The LEGO Technic building set results from extensive consultations between LEGO designers and JPL engineers, who shared valuable insights into constructing these extraordinary space machines. Developed in collaboration with the Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships at Caltech, which oversees JPL for NASA, the kit represents another successful endeavor within the Technology Affiliates Program. This program encourages industry partnerships and allows companies to leverage JPL’s intellectual property or collaborate with renowned scientists and engineers to tackle diverse technological challenges.

Fostering STEM Education

Drawing on NASA’s long-standing alliance with LEGO, this building set offers aspiring builders the opportunity to delve into the intricate details of the Perseverance Rover. By examining its mobility system and science instruments and interacting with simulated data transmitted by the rover, users gain an immersive experience that fosters scientific curiosity and a deeper understanding of space exploration.
Notably, since landing on Mars in February 2021, the Perseverance rover has embarked on a groundbreaking mission to search for evidence of ancient microbial life. It has collected rock and soil samples that will be returned to Earth by a future mission. Meanwhile, the Ingenuity helicopter achieved a groundbreaking milestone by becoming the first powered and controlled aircraft to take flight on another planet. With over 50 successful flights, Ingenuity has provided valuable aerial insights into the Red Planet.

Ingenuity Helicopter and Young Enthusiasts

Laurie Leshin, Director of JPL, expressed her enthusiasm for inspiring young minds, stating, “Our trips to Mars started with a plan so big that many people thought it was impossible. With great success, we’ve accomplished the incredible feat of safely landing rovers and even a helicopter on the enigmatic terrain of Mars. Our missions aim to delve into the intricate details of the planet’s climate, geology, and potential for hosting life, unveiling the captivating mysteries of the Red Planet. At JPL, we try to answer amazing science questions by dreaming big and pushing the limits. I hope that these kinds of toys will give kids the same sense of adventure that we have at NASA’s JPL.”

Ingenuity Helicopter LEGO Collaboration

Scott Hulme, a Mars public engagement expert at JPL, highlighted the significance of partnerships like this, emphasizing how they enhance the enjoyment and accessibility of space exploration for the upcoming generation of explorers. He expressed his enthusiasm for sharing the remarkable endeavours of Perseverance and Ingenuity on Mars, underscoring the value of collaborations as an additional avenue for fostering interest and engagement in space exploration.

The successful partnership between LEGO and JPL promotes education and excitement about space exploration and exemplifies the growing trend of private-public collaborations in pursuing scientific advancement. By working closely with JPL’s technology transfer offices and programs, companies can forge strategic alliances, enabling the sale of intellectual property, as demonstrated by LEGO, or facilitating access to JPL’s exceptional talent pool to address various technological challenges. These joint projects offer JPL enhanced opportunities to engage with the private sector, ultimately benefiting people on Earth and fostering an enduring fascination with space exploration.

In conclusion, introducing the LEGO Technic building set inspired by NASA-JPL’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter is a powerful tool to captivate young minds and cultivate a passion for engineering, space, and scientific exploration. By enabling children to embark on their space adventures from the comfort of their homes, this collaboration promotes the spirit of curiosity, innovation, and the boundless potential of human achievement.

To investigate the south polar region of the Moon during Artemis missions, NASA is looking for industry proposals for a next-generation LTV (Lunar Terrain Vehicle). This LTV will enable humans to travel further and carry out more science than ever before.

The Artemis crew will use the LTV to explore and sample more of the lunar surface than they could do on foot.

Instead of owning the rover, NASA will hire LTV as a service from the private sector. NASA can take advantage of private innovation.

They offer the best value to American taxpayers while meeting its goals for human spaceflight science and exploration by contracting services from business partners.

NASA is inviting proposals from the industry for the development of an advanced Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) that will enable astr

What is NASA Lunar Terrain Vehicle?

Astronauts to venture deeper into the Moon’s south polar region and undertake unprecedented scientific endeavors during the Artemis missions. The agency aims to push the boundaries, allowing astronauts to explore new frontiers and expand their scientific capabilities beyond previous limits.

Lara Kearney, manager of NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility program at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said,

“We want to leverage industry’s knowledge and innovation, combined with NASA’s history of successfully operating rovers, to make the best possible surface rover for our astronaut crews and scientific researchers.”

The Lunar Terrain Vehicle will operate similarly to a hybrid of an unmanned Mars rover and an Apollo-style lunar rover.

Similar to NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance Mars rovers, it will support both phases driven by astronauts and phases as an unmanned mobile science exploration platform.

This will make it possible to conduct scientific even when there aren’t any crews on the lunar surface. The LTV will be used by the Artemis astronauts to travel around the lunar surface and transport research gear, increasing the lengths they can travel on each moonwalk.

NASA has specified requirements for businesses interested in creating and demonstrating the LTV under the Lunar Terrain Vehicle Services Request for Proposals, including a strategy that encourages businesses to create an innovative rover for use by NASA and other commercial customers for several years.

Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle 

In order to move supplies and scientific payloads between crewed landing sites and enable more science returns, resource exploration, and lunar exploration, engineers will be able to control the LTV remotely.

This will increase the amount of scientific study that can be conducted on the Moon during uncrewed operations, allow researchers to look into potential surface mission landing sites, and help them determine their aims and objectives for each location.

The Lunar Terrain Vehicle will need to have several systems to support both crewed and uncrewed operations to manage the peculiar environment near the lunar South Pole, which includes permanently darkened regions and prolonged periods without sunlight.

Modern communication and navigation systems, semi-autonomous driving, enhanced power management, and environmental protection are some of the more crucial systems.

How Many Lunar Rovers are on the Moon?

A total of three Lunar Roving Vehicles (LRVs) were employed during different Apollo missions on the Moon. Astronauts David Scott and Jim Irwin used one LRV during Apollo 15, while John Young and Charles Duke utilized another LRV during Apollo 16.

Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, on the other hand, had access to the third LRV during Apollo 17. In each instance, the mission commander took on the role of the driver and sat in the left-hand seat of the respective LRV.

How Much Lunar Rovers Cost?

The $38 million mentioned does not represent the cost of a single unit, but rather the total expenditure for the entire project, which encompasses four units and eight variants designed for testing, development, and training purposes.

To put it into perspective, the renowned Scuderia Ferrari F1 team invested over $400 million in 2020 alone for the development and production of their Formula 1 cars.

Lunar Surface Operations:

Companies are needed to offer end-to-end services as part of the bids, from development and delivery to the lunar surface to execution of operations. Each rover must be capable of accommodating two astronauts in spacesuits, a robotic arm.

Or other devices to aid in science exploration and the harsh conditions at the lunar South Pole. Before employing the LTV with humans, the corporation will be required to successfully test it in a lunar environment.  

As of Artemis V in 2029, NASA plans to employ the LTV for crewed activities. The rover will be utilized for uncrewed and commercial tasks before the crew arrives once it landed on the lunar surface.

Space Launch Rocket Mission

The deadline for proposals for the Lunar Terrain Vehicle services contract is July 10, 2023, and the contract will be awarded in November of that same year. Through a draft call for proposals and an earlier request for information, this request for proposals has considered industry feedback.

Through Artemis, NASA will send astronauts to the Moon for scientific research, and commercial gain, and to lay the groundwork for crewed missions to Mars, including the first woman and person of color. 

The basis for NASA’s deep space exploration comprises its Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, Gateway lunar terrain vehicle orbiting base, cutting-edge spacesuits and rovers, and human landing devices.

After spending more than a year together on Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover and its traveling “pet rock” have finally parted ways. Despite many strenuous attempts to remove it, the rock had lodged in the rover’s front left wheel on its 341st Martian day and accompanied it for more than half of its stay on the Red Planet. Although the rock did not endanger the rover’s scientific mission, it occasionally interfered with photography. Hitchhiking rocks has caused problems for other Mars rovers, but Perseverance has managed to continue its mission successfully.

The backstory of the “Pet Rock”!

On February 4th, 2022 or Sol 341, Perseverance rover inadvertently acquired a pet rock lodged in its front left wheel. Although the rock did not pose a threat to the rover’s scientific objectives, it intermittently disrupted images and persisted despite attempts to dislodge it through various forceful maneuvers. The situation was aptly compared by mission scientists to “having a pebble stuck in your shoe.”

A Perseverance student collaborator from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Eleni Ravanis wrote a mission update. According to Ravanis: “If this pet rock could talk, it might tell us about the changes it’s noticed as we traveled back north through the Octavia E. Butler landing site, and then west, passing the spectacular remains of the former extent of the delta, ‘Kodiak,’ on our journey to the western Jezero delta,”.

NASA’s Perseverance rover has successfully dislodged a rock that had become lodged in its front left wheel for over a year, akin to a pebble stuck in a shoe. The rock had accompanied the rover for more than half of its mission on Mars. However, this will not be posing any obstacle to the rover’s mission. This separation marks the end of an interesting hitchhiking experience for the rock, and a continued successful mission for the Perseverance rover.

NASA released an image on April 18 (Sol 768) which shows the front left wheel of the Perseverance rover. The image indicates the lodged rock had been dislodged. The rock had been present in the rover’s wheel for approximately 439 days or 427 sols, which accounts for about 55% of the time that the Perseverance rover has been on Mars since its touchdown on February 18, 2021. During their time together, the two of them walked about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).  It is noteworthy that a sol, or a Martian day, is 37 minutes longer than an Earth day.

Perseverance Rover
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SWNS)

Throughout its mission, the Perseverance rover has accumulated multiple smaller rocks in its various wheels. Yet, all of these were dislodged within a few days or weeks of becoming stuck and did not pose any danger to the rover. But it should be said that rocks that got stuck in other parts of the rover have caused problems in the past.

In December 2021, Perseverance inner machinery was impeded by a cluster of small pebbles, resulting in the rover shutting down for almost a week. Mission scientists had to carefully analyze the situation to determine the best course of action for safely removing the obstructions before the rover could resume its operations.

Now we should also keep this in mind,

Other Rovers who faced the same problems:

The phenomenon of hitchhiking rocks has caused plenty of difficulties for other Mars rovers as well. Just like in December 2004, the operators of NASA’s Spirit rover had to execute a sharp turn to dislodge a “potato-sized” stone from its right-rear wheel. This action was taken because mission scientists were concerned that the rock could cause severe damage to the rover, as confirmed by NASA.


Published by: Sky Headlines

After it began the construction of the first mars sample depot took less than six weeks to complete its mission. At Southern California in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the mission controllers received confirmation that the Perseverance Mars rover successfully dropped the 10th and final tube planned for the depot around 5 p.m. PST (8 p.m. EST) Sunday, Jan. 29.

How is this going to help in the research of Mars?

This big achievement was all thanks to precise planning and navigation. This ensures that the tubes could be safely returning back in the future. The NASA-ESA (European Space Agency) Mars rover Sample Return campaign, aims to bring samples from Mars to Earth. This will be very essential for closer examination. Which is going to help in studying Mars’s habitat.

The Perseverance rover’s WATSON camera took this image. It is the 10th and last tube to be deployed during the creation of the first mars sample depot on another world, on Jan. 28, 2023, the 690th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

During its science campaigns, the rover has collected a pair of samples from rocks regarded as scientifically substantial by the mission team. Scientists have stored one sample from each pair in the organized depot in the “Three Forks” region of Jezero Crater. The depot samples serve as backup. The other half remains inside Perseverance.

One sample from each pair collected thus far is now stored in the nicely organized depot in the “Three Forks” region of Jezero Crater. The Mars sample depot samples will be very useful as a backup set. While the other half will be kept inside Perseverance. This will be the primary means of transporting samples to a Sample Retrieval Lander as part of the campaign.

According to mission scientists, the igneous and sedimentary rock cores will be very beneficial. It will provide an excellent sample of the geologic processes that occurred in Jezero shortly after the crater’s formation about 4 billion years ago.

The rover also left an atmospheric sample and a “witness” tube. This will help to see if the samples being collected are contaminated with materials carried by the rover from Earth.

The “Witness” tube!

The titanium tubes are put on the surface in an intricate zigzag pattern. Each sample spaces about 15 to 50 feet (5 to 15 meters) apart to ensure a safe return. The team must precisely map the location of each 7-inch-long (18.6-centimeter-long) tube and glove (adapter) combination. So that the samples could be found even if covered in dust. However, this was time-consuming in the depot-creation process. On the flat ground near the base of an ancient river delta. This was formed long ago when a river flowed into a lake where the Mars sample depot is located.

Passing the Rocky Top outcrop marks the end of the rover’s Delta Front Campaign because of the geologic transition that occurs at that level. And also the beginning of the rover’s Delta Top Campaign.

Curvilinear Unit:

One of the first stops the Mars rover will make during the new science campaign will be at a location  “Curvilinear Unit” by the science team. The unit, which is essentially a Martian sandbar, is made of sediment that was deposited ages ago in a bend in one of Jezero’s inflowing river channels. The science team believes the Curvilinear Unit will be an excellent location for searching for intriguing sandstone and possibly mudstone outcrops, as well as gaining insight into the geological processes occurring beyond the walls of Jezero Crater.

This map shows where NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover dropped 10 samples so that a future mission could pick them up. After more than five weeks of work, the sample depot was completed Jan. 28, 2023, the 690th day, or sol, of the mission.Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This map shows where NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover dropped 10 samples so that a future mission could pick them up. It took more than five weeks of work, the mars sample depot on Jan. 28, 2023, the 690th day, or sol, of the mission.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

What are Rick Welch and Ken Farley’s remarks about this milestone?

Rick Welch is the deputy project manager of JPL. He says that “With the Three Forks depot in our rearview mirror, Perseverance is now headed up the delta,”. Moreover, he said: “We’ll make our ascent via the ‘Hawksbill Gap’ route we previously explored. Once we pass the geologic unit the science team calls ‘Rocky Top,’ we will be in new territory and begin exploring the Delta Top.”

Perseverance project scientist at Caltech “Ken Farley” said: “We found that from the base of the delta up to the level where Rocky Top is located, the rocks appear to have been deposited in a lake environment,”. Moreover, he said: “And those just above Rocky Top appear to have been created in or at the end of a Martian river flowing into the lake. As we ascend the delta into a river setting, we expect to move into rocks that are composed of larger grains – from sand to large boulders. Those materials likely originated in rocks outside Jezero, eroded, and washed into the crater.”


Published by: Sky Headlines